The other pre-summer signing for Bayern Munich to go along with striker Robert Lewandowski was midfielder Sebastian Rode. He may be in the shadows for a while at the large Bundesliga club. However, he is making the most of the time he is given in the preseason and was highly visible in Bayern’s friendly against Chivas Guadalajara on Thursday. On a talent-laden club, Rode looks to be another quality young signing for Bayern Munich.
Rode moved to Bayern after four seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt. He played in 94 league games and scored four goals. His role is largely defensive and he occupied the role of an absent Bastian Schweinsteiger on Thursday at Red Bull Arena. He has been involved with Germany at the youth levels playing 12 matches. Rode has made a big impression everywhere he has played, which is part of why his jump to the Bundesliga was from the third-tier of German football.
The situation in Bayern is tough, so Rode knows he has a lot to prove. Rode has been easy to pick out in training. Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer has described Rode’s work ethic as playing like “there is no tomorrow.” This is after being hampered for five months of last season with cartilage issues in his knee. Rode comes off as a blue-collar player which extends to off the field. He often states that he took his first professional paycheck to the bank.
No one can blame Rode for his approach at trying to make an impression. He is working hard and keeping his mouth shut, except when asking for feedback and getting to know his new teammates. He sits behind icons of the German game in the midfield. Bayern have an overabundance of midfield talent, including last year’s big summer target, Thiago. Rode has to perform well enough in training to get playing time when Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm need a break. With patience Rode could take over the defensive midfielder role, but he could be waiting a couple years.
Rode may not be a typical, flashy signing for Bayern. He is making the most of the time he has right now with some of the big stars still working on their fitness. The situation was clear when Rode signed on. Still the young midfielder has gone about bringing attention to himself the right way. Only time will tell if he is rewarded.